This morning our group of therapists and trainers at Snehadhara Foundation had an interesting session titled “Introduction to Philosophical Thinking” facilitated by Adil Hasan.
The session started off with a discussion on what is philosophy and how we are already philosophers when we think and ask questions in a structured way about universal themes and concerns.The group came up with interesting philosophical questions and talked through ideas like:
1. What is the connection between the mind and the body?
2. What is knowledge? Is science adequate to explain all observable phenomena?
3. Is there a soul over and above the mind? Does the soul transmigrate from body to body?
4. Can there be life after death?
5. What does it mean to have a self, can a person have different selves?
6. The connection between actions, thoughts and behaviour.
7. Is the world completely deterministic or can there be room for free will.
8. The role of faith and belief vis-a-vis the scientific explanation of events.
The presentation and discussion opened up interesting, opposing and contested points of view which was joined in whole-heartedly by the entire group including some of our differently abled members. The session witnessed many different ideas from the group like defining life as love and compassion, that the mind is nothing but our awareness towards the world and the soul is a continuum, a lifeforce. It was fascinating to see the group bring in arguments from various schools of thought such as positivist, realist, naturalistic and historical. Intense brainstorming allowed the group to reach both consensual and individualistic conclusions.
The session closed with the story of Socrates’ trial and his saying “I know that I know nothing” stressing the importance of acquiring the method of rationality and a constructive skepticism.
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